The turkey, fresh from the oven, rests on the table. Piled high in assorted bowls and dishes are your traditional Thanksgiving sides. You've got stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, candied yams, relish tray, and buns. But it isn't truly Thanksgiving for me unless, appearing in all of it's jellied, slightly ribbed glory, the canned cranberry sauce it slurped from it's can onto a plate for all to indulge. But where did that delicious concoction get its start?

Cranberry sauce came into the picture with the help of General Ulysses S. Grant who ordered it served to the troops during the siege of Petersburg in 1864. This bitter, nine-month stalemate also marked the beginnings of trench warfare, with both forces stubbornly embedded, sniping from mud holes over a long, Virginia winter. The Confederate Army finally yielded giving up the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, to the Union Army in 1865. Unknowingly we are commemorating Grant’s Civil War victory every year by consuming cranberry sauce.

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